Why do bees love boxes so much?
We’re removing bees from all types of boxes every day in San Diego, Orange County, and Los Angeles. Among their favorite places to establish hives are cable boxes, electrical boxes, BBQs, owl boxes (“coup d’hoot”), and bees especially love getting into irrigation valve control boxes. Honey bees hang their honeycomb from the ceiling of a structure, and these locations support the weight of the hive as they fill up the honeycomb cells with larvae, nectar, pollen, and honey.
Bees Have Needs
Spacial and security needs, to be exact; they must have an interior space large enough to support at least 5,000-10,000 bees with honeycomb. They also must feel like their hard work and home is safe and protected, which is why they are typically very prone to finding locations that have small entrances. This keeps natural predators out, but it also allows them to fight off intruders like wasps, wax moths, and most annoying to a beehive – ants. 80-90% of the time you see a mass of bee hanging from a tree limb, bush, or other fully exposed area it is because they are in the midst of finding and moving to one of these new enclosed spaces; these are simply called swarms. The bees aren’t interested in remaining exposed – they know it isn’t a safe environment to keep the brood and honey protected, once things get established.
What Can You Do?
Walk around your house and take notice to the box-like things that fit the description above; is it enclosed with a nice sized void inside? Does it have a small entrance for bees to get in? Will it be sturdy enough for bees to build their hive in? If the answer is yes, then look for gaps, cracks, or other areas that bees could potentially exploit as entrances that lead to voids. This will make the area of concern practically invisible to scout bees (bees that precede a migrating swarm – think of them as Real Estate Agents). This also applies to areas of your house that lead to open voids including eave vents that lead to attic spaces, holes in a wall that lead to space between interior and exterior walls, and chimneys.